tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 22, 2014 12:30am-2:31am EDT
drones, i will bring it up. at the end of the day, i would rather our enemies look over their shoulders then give them more time to plot, execute, maneuver, recruit, and engage in terrorist activity. is it a panacea? absolutely not. it has to be coupled and combined with other instruments that we are not comfortable with as a country. i think that's something we need to worry about. , if you look at the tragic news in terms of the beheading of an american, this is part of their narrative. their narrative is to demonstrate we are vulnerable. .e should be afraid
i would advise no one to watch that video. in a way we are giving them the oxygen they seek to be able to fulfill those object gives. that said, we also can't ignore these particular issues. i hate to say it but i think we're going to see more of those lines. wasou remember zarqawi bombed ae in iraq. he jordanian wedding, where he killed a number of wedding goers as well as family members. what you ended up seeing was a pushback that he crossed the line. he was behind beheadings and gruesome videos.
ultimately it did not resonate and sell the way he was looking for. it did for a percentage. it even got to the point where was sendingeader notes suggesting, this is too violent. to be able toing win the hearts and minds they were trying in their twisted kind of way to do. i am not sure that has staying power, but that is almost irrelevant. they are basically looking for small numbers to engage in. brits fighting in iraq and syria. you have 900 french.
you have approximately 100 americans. these are big numbers. by definition a small numbers business. it has catastrophic impact. wehink that is something need to be thinking about, especially in terms of threats to our homeland. even the former -- the foreign fighter issue aside, if you look at isis, it is arguably the most well-funded in history. they rob banks, oil fields, someone is buying this. i hope that is where we start squeezing some of that. i have they have a sense of momentum and safe haven. at some point they will turn the canons away in terms of the threat here, looking here, unless we can ramp up our activity. that is why i support airstrikes
right now, because i do not see better alternatives. so the most frightening thing for me was i do think there was a time where threat level had dropped. i think we got lulled into a false sense of complacency. i think now if you were to look at the threat level, in many ways it does mirror the pre-9-11 environment. there are many things to bear in terms of intent and numbers. in terms of the actual counterterrorism tools we need to bring to bear, to me it is about addressing narratives. there are some great programs people are not aware of at the state department and some of the other entities that are forward leaning, in terms of humor. in terms of other safe havens, mali is one of concern. i think the french deserve credit in terms of terrorism, food, yes, and wine, maybe.
twitter feeds, stop reading the newspapers because it really is a gruesome organization. you got people being killed on a regular basis. you are seeing swaths of girls and now boys being kidnapped for what? for trying to be human, studying, trying to be part of society. i am not sure how we best get our arms around that but we need to build up capacity because we cannot do it all. i would argue boots on the ground would be the last option of any of these places. this plays to the enemies narrative and quite honestly as much as we can deal with counterterrorism, we will never kill and capture of her way to victory alone.
al-shabbab in somalia, good news there, but i think some of that is already beginning to fade. here you also have a very vicious terrorist organization that can easily make inroads. from a u.s. perspective, it's perhaps a community least integrated into the united states. so many found their way to yemen. we are not out of the woods there yet either. aqap is still -- they have had the u.s. in its crosshairs for a very long time. up until what we saw unfold in iraq it would've been a very dangerous situation. so i hate to say it, but we have got a lot to worry about
overseas. then what you see is what is old is new in new is old. russia -- it's back. dust off all your cold war papers. hate to say it, but we need to start thinking about what all of that means and their use of proxies. if you start seeing in the 1980's when i first started working these counterterrorism issues in the 1990's, we were worried about state-sponsored terrorism. it's back, whether it is iran in terms, of russia providing near or plausible deniability using their proxies, which is not new. that is how they attacked estonia, and now starting to see it through physical means.
why russia is perhaps greater concern is they have nukes, a lot of them. those can be a game-changer types of incidents. we have to be careful how we address the issues, because as brutal and gruesome as terrorism is, when you are dealing with a nuclear threat, that can be a game changer quickly. obviously you have biodefense issues. if you look at it from an instrumentality perspective, the area we have done the least amount of work, whether it is foreign terrorists or even nation states engaging in biowarfare and appointment.
these are the things that can be game changers, tipping points. you need to be cognizant of them. then of course we still have a homegrown threat. this comes in various stripes and forms. i think that here we are going to be so focused on many of these folks traveling overseas that you will have some that don't travel overseas and will stay off the radar seem that can be significant and real threats. the long-winded way of saying we ain't out of the woods, but i do think there is some potential for optimism here. a lot of this coming at a time when i think americans' trust in the government is at an all-time lows. i think we have to figure out how we can engage in the use and
maintain the right balance because we do not ever want to tip it too far in one direction, but at the same time need to acknowledge and not simply wish threats away. in terms of cyber, which is gobbling up most of my time these days, i think we are at a very early stage in recognizing some of the threat and what it means. we are not going to defeat cyber. we're going to have to get to the point where we understand how our adversaries use cyber to achieve objectives, whether it is what we see on the counter radicalization side or whether it is more computer network exploit or computer network attack, i.e. using cyber as a weapon to be able to attack our systems. but when i see and read the media here, i am less depressed because i did not think they understand it yet. right now i call it kids' soccer
everyone chasing the shiny toy or ball. if you were to read the newspaper, you could not delineate the term web pack and more sophisticated computer networking attack. so i think we have to get to the point where we can get more clarity in terms of what we mean with respect to cyber. you cannot mirror image our adversaries. if you were to look at the very top it would be russians, chinas, united states, some of our allies. but by and large, their intent, unless escalating in a military situation, is not to take down and attack systems unless they are threated. by and large it is exploit, which means they are in the business of stealing secrets.
those are jobs. innovation, that is what keeps america going forward and vulnerable and susceptible which means it is being stolen at huge amounts like that. if you are in the chinese minds, what would deter you from not spending best? that is basically the way they're looking at it. all this moral equivalency discussion the post equivalent discussion. of course we engage in intelligence collection but not engaging in that to support apple or ibm or ford or any american company. the difference is there you have national assets and resources being engaged and used to benefit companies.
that is an unfair playing field and not the playing field anyone should want to play on because it gets to the very core of who we are as a society. who america is as a country. to me, that is a marketplace issue that needs to be addressed. i am somewhat optimistic we can get to some of those solutions. take russia and china, are they engaging computer military attack for of these purposive? absolutely. i cannot separate what is physical and cyber anymore. they're all on and the same. but who are the countries we need to be most worried about from a national security immediate perspective? that is iran, north korea. what they can't engage kinetically, they can try to engage through cyber means. quite honestly they are.
they are attempting. doing the equivalent of intelligence perforation on the battlefield. even a company like citigroup or bank of america or goldman sachs, they were not built to defend against nation states or national capabilities, but that is the battlefield we are in today. you cannot separate what is in the government and private sector. if i were to tell you who is most concerned from an attack standpoint, probably the government of iran, through proxy or some of these other proxies they are using. the russians are doing this every day. it does provide plausible deniability because smoking keyboards are hard to find.
i do not know who is behind the clickety clack of the keyboard. we are getting better at attribution. finally you are starting to see criminal enterprises, criminal enterprises that used to be in the hands of government alone. these are largely russian-speaking, eurasian criminal enterprises. just look at the target tax. that is what you are seeing and reading. if you think that is the only thing going on right now -- i am glad it opens up people's eyes, puts some ownership in executives to address the issue, but they are the ones who got
caught. if you think they are alone, think again. the reality is those who have been hacked, those to be hacked and those who have not are not aware they have been hacked. so to me, when you start to look at some of the corporate priorities and some of the will there be cyber drive-by shootings? yes, but not the same as a foreign nation engaging in an attack. will foreign terrorist organizations turn to cyber? they are trying. i am still more worried about kinetic attacks because that fills recruiting and has visuals. are they going to engage in
cyber? absolutely. if i were to have to take worst-case scenarios, it is the convergence of physical and cyber. it is a multiplier. that is what we need to worry about going forward. all that said and done -- it was yogi berra who said the future ain't what it used to be. my version is since the end of the cold war, threat forecasting has made astrology look respectable. i do not have a crystal ball. the best way to predict anything is to shape it. i feel like we are in react mode. we are tired, we are reacting to crises everywhere. we need to be in the business of shaping the environment. yes, i am a proud american to our national interests, and then do so in a way that is collectively beneficial for society. i will leave it at that. i want to engage in any sorts of questions.
thank you. [applause] we have any questions? >> when you were talking about france having citizens and great britain along with us fighting and isis, i would like your opinion on can we account on western allies at all? my big concern is the land grab going on because now there is a home base. >> a great question. i will tell you when it comes to the community there is no sunlight. yes, we can count on them. the capacity and capability is another question. i do think they have a lot of capability and they are one of our closest allies, and if they
have something, they will provide it. quite honestly the brits are probably upset because it has stymied some of their capabilities. in terms of the french, that is complex. as happy as i was in terms of what we saw in mali, and by the way, this went against all indigenous polls. there was less than 20% support at the time of french engagement. it went against the polls of their own country. that said, still selling stuff for the russians. is that state-sponsored terrorism? i don't know. but i am not very happy with what we're seeing. who is buying this oil? that is the sorts of questions
we need to ask because once you dry up the funding well, obviously you minimize their ability to project power and deploy forces in the same way we are seeing right now. so when you start looking at allies on counterterrorism issues, i think u.s.-france has been a strong partnership. perfect, no, but the politics does not affect it. does not affect the relationships on the ground where it matters. we both have great interest to address these issues. it was also the frenchman that came back and shoot up a jewish community. that was the first indicator you have foreign fighters engaging in terrorist acts. i am concerned when you look at the number brits fighting overseas. even before isis you saw a
number of brits in southeast asia joining up with al qaeda and the arabian peninsula, which confused me. the way the brits security folks would explain it was they knew authorities were on to them if they kept traveling to pakistan. they go there, come back, and have the same street cred. we have to make this stuff not cool. it is gruesome and awful and people die. so bottom line is that with the brits, i have every bit of confidence what they can do. other than russia, i would like to see them stronger with the russian investment in their own country. in terms of counterterrorism, i am optimistic our relationship with france is strong.
the belgians, per capita, more belgians fighting right now in the region than any other country, western country. are the belgians a friend? absolutely, but do they have the capacity to get their arms around this? let's be serious, us. do we know everyone who has gone overseas? did we know the numbers until we started seeing some of them on the battlefields? probably not. >> thank you. >> thank you, frank, for an excellent presentation. two questions. the first has to do with the efficacy of counterterrorism measures, whether it is squeezing the rich donors of the gulf states or the preeminence of the lack of adequate measures against that.
that is one question. what is your take on the efficacy in terms of the effective implementation and the impact. secondly, afghanistan. >> those are great questions. i apologize they did not bring up afghanistan. let's not make the same mistake in a rock -- in iraq as afghanistan. i am not making a political decision for whether or not we should have a huge booth on the ground but there are measures that can be taken and must be taken and we cannot take our eye off the ball. that vacuum can be filled really fast. i also neglect to discuss when i mentioned the fatah region and many others, the bats of the bad.
if there is one sense of optimism, it is that they are looking a little bit over their shoulder. if they stop looking over their shoulder, they will use the time unfortunately not to our best interests. the first question was on the financial side. you know this better than i did because i think you teach a course looking at the finance related issues. when we can get the precision to address those matters him if they are effective. you do have individuals that are fueling some of this. so i am concerned about some of
that. on the isis situation, they do not need that. they do not have to appeal to anyone because they robbed the banks, they have the oil. that is very different then what we have seen in the recent past and the past decade of so-called long war. we have not had a very wealthy, open ability to maneuver in daylight organizations. you have that there. well financed on their own. they took the technology and weaponry. heavily armed. unfortunately a whole lot of training experience based on activity experience. they are adaptive. we tend to think they do not learn. the reality is they do learn and they become more resilient and
adaptive based on recent history. that is something we need to always try to stay ahead of the curve. >> thanks a lot. [applause] >> more from the american bar association conference on homeland security with officials from customs and border protection. they provide an update on their operations. this is an hour. >> ladies and gentlemen, we are going to get started with our next tamil. -- panel. the very proud to introduce monitor.
if you're on the tourism panel you are in the wrong room. it's a real honor to introduce enforcement a law professional. jay is a principal with the church group where he advises counseling and security forces. i can seldom get in touch with him because he needs to be near an airport with international connections. patrol, in u.s. order and i suppose i had an opportunity to see his good work when he was commissioner of customs and border protection. he was therefore number of
months and may be years. it seems like a long time you were there. he was so recognized and appreciated the president in 2005 conferred the rank of extinguished executive. highest rank a career realn can have. it's a pleasure to introduce our next moderator. thank you. i the most important thing have done in my life is a grandfather. it is much better than any of the other things i might have done over the years. enough about me. this is the fifth or sixth year i have had the opportunity to moderate this panel. we have had two very good members this year.
a little over 11 years and look at the different missions that have been put together under the homeland security. the threats and reality of the world today fall into the hands of these two leaders. john wagner is the field operations and oversees in field operations with ports here in the united states. an is the deputy director at .c.e. and 400 offices, 70 of which are overseas. the mission of d.h.s., people think it begins at the inside of this country and with the threat of border security or any of the supply chain threats or intellectual property and we are dealing with criminal organizations. with the time we have is for me to stop and turn it over to dan.
>> thank you, jay. thank you for including me on the panel. i certainly very much appreciate the topic and having i.c.e. to tell you what we do in the homeland security enterprise. our agency was borne out of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. exist from two legacy components, custom service. and the biggest bees is our investigative program. we have about 6,000 special agents that investigate border and smuggling crimes and civil administrative immigration piece and that is the piece that gets a fair amount of coverage in the news that deals with the very real immigration enforcement work that is a key part of the department, border security
mission. just to set the stage at i.c.e. and on any given day, numbers are a useful stage setter, we opened 120 criminal investigations every day and in terms of the range of topical areas, we make about six arrests for child exploitation crimes. we arrest about eight people for financial crimes, about 30 drug smug smers and gang members, four suspected human traffickers and that totals roughlyly 450 criminal arrests a day. just in terms of the seizure side, we seize monetary instruments, 4,900 pounds of narcotics, 19,000 counterfeit
items. 165 weapons and on the child bmp ytation side, 10 tera tmp es of data a day. on the immigration side, there's roughlyly at any given stage, about 1.8 million people that are in the process in the federal courts on immigration cases. we process 1,200 people from our detention facilities and have 22,000 folks in our detention program. we have an enormous health care system that we provide health care to our people in cuss toed todd and we remove 1,000 people from the united states to places all around the globe. the thing that is our most important piece is again
protecting the homeland and protecting terrorist attacks. we are the largest contributor to that organization and work with them closely on a whole nge of not only domestic threats and home-grown thrirt threats. we work at d.h.s. to implement the president's enforcement eform and single licensing agency. we look at the illegal shipment of sensitive technology going out of the united states. it is a huge piece. we house and lead the control center and it's a key part of our border enforcement mission. our task forces are around the
united states in 16 states and puerto rico. it's a task force that we bring the full force of government and law enforcement, many partners out of our ports of entry to make sure that all the agencies that have a piece of the mission are co-located in a way to be most effective. the other thing as i mentioned, the child exploitation work, it is a huge piece in terms of not only having americans who travel outside the united states to commit crimes against children, but we have moved from the old days where child porn were shipped into the united states to a place where the internet has broken down physical borders and see all sorts of things that are protected. and just a range of encryption
that cross the border and make that child exploitation mission that much harder. just as an example, we worked a case out of our boston office where a search warrant in boston led to an image of a stuffed animal, shared it with the partners. turns out it was a stuffed animal unique to the netherlands. further work gets done with the dutch authorities and find out it is a day care owner abusing a two-year-old boy from an image received in boston, massachusetts. find out there are other images being shared with a suspect in massachusetts that has a steel cage, cast tration tools and a stainless steel table in his
basement. i cannot tell you the credit i have to give to our agents and how important it is that international sharing and that border enforcement mission makes that a powerful weapon to protect our children. moving to things that are very much in the news. our southwest border, folks have seen the very much concerned about folks crossing our border from central america. our secretary came to i.c.e. to announce some of the results from operation ky oathey and we bring our immigration and customs mission together. in operation coyote where we are argeting the human smuggling operation, it is the pathways that bring folks into the united
states. at the same time, we are bringing our financial crime expertise and we identify funnel accounts and bank accounts opened on the southwest border but companies deposits in small amounts in anonymous fashion, where the money is deposited in chicago and withdrawn in laredo and into new mexico. we have had many, many seizures and ceased bank accounts to stop that transfer of wealth. we are continuing to refine our enforcement policies and procedures. last year, we removed 350,000 people around the globe. but of those, 59% were convicted criminals. t's an 89% increase from 2008. targeting what i'll say is the folks that present the greatest
reats to border security and safety is a key at i.c.e. we arrested 15,000 fugitives and those who continue to re-enter the united states after having been removed. and just note, we will cont to work with the hill and our law enforcement partners to further refine those initiatives to make sure we have detention space that suits the varied population we are seeing and making sure when we make those criminal arrests, we have the resources to investigate and puerto rico all those who seek to do the united states harm. with that, i'll leave it there. >> just a special thank you to john wagner, he found out
yesterday late in the day that he would be joining the program. as your program reflects another one was supposed to be and he had a bike accident and recovering well and thanks for stepping in. >> thanks for allowing me to fill in for kevin. well on the road to recovery. john wagner, acting assist ant commissioner. and we were formed as part of the department of homeland security as a uniform component of the customs service and department of agriculture tur and border patrol came over and our trade functions and trade employees make up the bulk of our agency. u.s. customs service happened to turn 225 years old last month,
fifth act of congress established that agency. we have been in this business for quite a long time in securing the economy of the u.s. and protecting our borders and trade and travel that is vital to our economy and our nation. c.b.p. has 400 laws for 60 different federal agencies at the border and i will talk about what we do at the ports of entry d seaports and international airports. you have come through our process and met a lot of great officers. talk first about our really critically security mission and what we do as far as on the national security front to make sure we are addressing any type of national security threat on
people or the articles they are brage or commercial cargo that is coming into the united states. and the opportunities we have in the systems and analysis we do to address any of those concerns or threats as far in advance of that reaching our shores or getting on our aircraft. we use a risk-based strategy that relies on information we receive either from the airlines, from people, the vessels, the shippers, importers, ex potters, any type of advanced information and we ork with i.c.e. and t.s.a. and the local and federal governments and our foreign counterparts. but we take this information. we go through a series of valuations of that data on every shipment coming to the u.s. and
we try to look at it in days of advance in advance of their anticipated arrival and we built a targeting septemberer located in northern virginia that mr. ahearn was getting it off the ground and consolidating a lot of what we did in building the plaintiffs and systems to go through this advanced information and look for different points in that process that may give us concern or may give us a reason to look closer. but i'll start with international travelers first and what we look at, when we are processing travelers coming to the u.s., few days before they travel, we will work closely with the commercial airlines and get access into their reservation systems. nd send us manifests on who is projected to be on board and
work with t.s.a. and we look for things, travel patterns, look for people that have been to parts of the world that may want us to look a little closer at that person and ask different questions, but really look for, what's giving us some type of concern or have a known piece of intelligence or known piece of inform ant information and what's the appropriate response for us to deal with that. we try to take that action as far in the advance as possible. if we go back a few years to the christmas day bomber and he tried to blow up the plane over detroit, we looked very closely at that and looked at what were the different opportunities, because we had access to that information and what were the opportunities, not knowing his intentions, but could we have
uncovered his intentions earlier on and couple of different things we do. once we go through this information and identify things we want to look closer at, so in the case of a traveler, we eploy officers and these are c.b.p. officers in europe, asian south america and what they do is work at the airport and they are able to work -- but don't have any authority. but in an advisory role. and they are able to question travelers before they get on board the aircraft. and if it's a case because there is something in their background that is going to make them indemriss i believe to the united states, we can make recommendations to the airlines that they not board the person.
chances we are not going to find them admissible and fly them back. we refer them to the u.s. embassy and review their visa and take time to look at who they are. the other way is from our targeting center, we have direct contact with the airlines and call them at the points of embarkation and talk to a person and make sure they are screeped in extra ways or refer them to the embassy for further review. the other thing we do is something we call pre-clearance. we have officers stationed on foreign soil in several different countries and just the united site in arab emirates. this is different, because we have officers in uniform with authorities. we reached agreements to allow
us to do the full set of inspections and authorities you would do when you land in the united states. we are able to do it overseas before the person boards the aircraft. we are protecting the transportation sector and searching and clearing people before they get on board that aircraft or questions about their documents or admissibility, they can address it. good thing once that flight has been cleared overseas it is treated like a domestic arrival in the united states so they can connect. on the cargo front, we have several programs that have a similar approach. we worked with the express con signment industry and in an attempt to -- printed cart ridges with bombs in them.
we work with the industry very closely and screen their information and point out to them what shipments need extra scrutiny before they put it on their aircraft because they need to protect their business and industry. they have a vested industry in doing. we have got the customs trade partnership against terrorism, a program we launched after september 11, which worked very closely with the industry in helping secure their supply chains and looking at best practices in how they are able to secure commercial shipments all through that supply chain from the point that it's first packaged up to when it's delivered into the united states. the other program we have, similar to the immigration advisory program, we have a ogram called the container
initiative and we work closely with the host customs authorities and able to point out in request of them to do some type of screening, scanning of commercial cargo based on what we are see we can ask them to check it before they put it on the commercial vessel destined to the united states. the theme is to address any type of concerns that we have long before it reaches our shores and working in leveraging our foreign counterparts and our industry stakeholders working cooperatively and build an environment that every person coming here is here in a safe and efficient manner as possible. we are able to help facilitate the legitimate trade and traffic and international travelers and citizens and residents that are flying back to the united
states. we look at -- we've got one million people a day entering the united states a day. a tremendous volume of people. 360 million people last year. one million people coming into the united states. we want to make sure that we are efficient and make sure it is a safe and secure environment. nothing will shut down travel than an incident. the international travel sort of decreased in correlation to these events. we want people to understand that it is safe to come to the united states and it is a welcoming country. we see the economic value in foreign travel and foreign visitation to the united states. we are seeing unprecedented growth in the international arrivals traffic and has risen
4% in the last couple of years. no secret the u.s. government budget woes and struggles we have had to keep pace. it has been challenging for us self-critical in how we look at our operations to make sure they are as secure as they can be but as efficient. we try to do more with less and just lining people up and making them wait is not in our interest and not going to encourage people to come here, work, study and visit. d so we absolutely see the economic value that foreign travelers bring. the u.s. traveler association ach visitor spends $3,000 400.
and every three foreign visitors to the you united states, supports one job in the travel industry. the millions of people coming here, the numbers add up and adds to jobs, economy and tax base and resulting great stuff. but we have to make sure it is done in efficient fashion and secure fashion. what we have looked at in the last couple of years, we have uilt a resource strategy and bringing this vision together. but it's a three-part strategy. and one is looking at our work load itself and data-driven approach to what's the amount of staff we need at each port of entry. and we identified every task that every officer does, how many times it is done and how long it takes to do that task and we do the simple math and
come up with a very large number of staff that we need. 373 timate we are about 4, officers short. by having this approach, we can get it through the administration and get on onto the hill and into the administration's budget request and we can tie in the economic factors of what it brings to the country and what the officer means. and had some economists -- a group out of the university of southern california help us go through this and what does it mean and what is the value of a c.b.p. officer as far as the foreign visitors they can process and it is well over $1 million per officer. we like the pitch for this good investment to make and pay the country back by making that investment in the staffing.
if you followed our budget last year we received 2,000 c.b.p. officers and going to bring that number up to 23,000. in the administration's request, there is another 2,373 officers in there as well. we are making sure these officers are assigned to the right ports of entry. and we call it our business transformation initiatives. ll agencies are short-handed and we want to make sure we are looking at our own operations and because we have done things one way. and looking at stuff like getting rid of paper forms and the i-94 forms that visitors have to fill out. that form would cost us $17
million a year to store it. forget about it we had the data electronically and build a system to connect it to. we got rid of the torm form. but these processes over time, when you add it up, they are costly for us. we are working on the customs declaration, the other form you fill out on the plane and we are going to get rid of that form soon. we started phasing it out in some of our other programs. we have taken steps with automated kiosks. you go online and fill out an application and bring you in for an interview and take your fingerprints and once you are enrolled, you don't have to get in line. you answer your customs
declaration questions. it prints out a receipt and claim your bags and walk out the doorment and it helps us because these are people that we have taken the time to look deeply into and we have made the judgment that they are not a threat to us to not follow any of those 400-plus laws that we enforce and it's based on their ability through the background checks to demonstrate past compliance with the laws and regulations and frequent travelers know the process as well as us and we have the expectation. why not build an automated process and we can redirect our resources to everybody else and theoretically who could be a higher risk. 2.6 million people enrolled in that program and the numbers range from 6% to 12% of the total.
that's thousands of officers' hours we can rededicate to processing everyone else. we have launched in this past year sort of a lighter version of that called automated passport control which is another kiosk. you can use it. it does some of the administrative work that an officer would do in a booth. and read your passport and read your fingerprints, if you are subject to those requirements as a foreign visitor and sends that data and do our series of computer checks. our global entry, you will get an interview because we have processed your information. by launching these kinds of programs, what we have seen, we can reduce those wait times by p to 35% to 40% in some of our
high volume locations. we have them in 22 sites right now and we are processing tins of thousands of travelers a day by doing this. we are going to and just launched a pilot in atlanta using a smartphone, you can download an application on your phone. but what we see in the coming years is much like checking in for an airline. different ways to clear c.b.p. you can do it on your phone, kiosk or get in line or talk to an officer. depending on their own capacity and own level of comfortness of how they want to interact with us and we are better able to focus on the things we want to focus on and don't go through the same proceedings process.
lot morebe launching a ios kmp s at the major gateway airports. l.a.x. opens next week. and most of the other airports, iami, j.f.k., dallas, chicago, san francisco. it is showing tremendous value and working closely with the travel and terrorism stakeholders to come up with additional ideas on how to do this and what are the other ways we need to look at processing people. as the volume continues to increase and see airline schedules, everybody wants to land at the same time and it does create a lot of challenges for all of us, how do you process that many people through a small window of arrivals
through an airport that is constrained by space, so we are working with all of the different industry stakeholders to come up with different ideas. with 4,000 people try to come through a one or two-hour window in miami, the physical capacity not there, but we look at this. there are better ways and different opportunities to be able to do that without changing airline schedules which for their business, it's not a practical solution to do that. working very closely with them on ways to do that. we are open to ideas that industry has on that. >> we have about 15 minutes left and opportunity for you to to ask some questions and first questions ready to come forward and let me ask one. cornstormrorism was a
mission for homeland security department was to be established and you see what is going on with the syrian foreign fighters and what does that present to the homeland when you are looking at the individuals, a lot of europeans, they can get their skills and learn their trade and craft and make their way back to the united states. as a frequent traveler, going through airports, looking for some of the explosive concerns that we saw back in the days earlier of richard reid. how much of a threat really is the homeland facing and what are the organizations dealing with to deal with the threats?
national security concerns as far in advance as possible and being able to take the appropriate action. sometimes it is questioning people to find out what they're up to and may be benign activity. we do see attempts and threats and look over the last couple of years, times square bomber and christmas day bomber, shoe bombing attempts, the threat till is very much out there. it still is very much a concern for us and we get to read the intelligence reports every day and i think as international travelers, you should take comfort we are up every night worrying about it and build policies and procedures to keep everyone safe and secure so you don't have to worry about it. and we see activity out there
and we continue to refine our methods to make sure that america is a safe place to visit, study and return home to. and we want to make sure it is a secure and safe earn virmente as can be. >> as you look at the threat now 9/11. 13 years post-9 seems there is still a fascination with aviation and hopefully some of the international foot prints you have out there will identify some of these, to this point i would say to both the organizations and d.h.s. and these folks and their agencies do and we don't have to hear some of the things that get thwarted that bring that hole transportation. shift to the southern border and some of the issues facing the country on the southern border.
look again, very topical, the unaccompanied children coming into the united states, a lot of folks which media you watch, you may get a different opinion. so will call it border security, some will call it border insecurity. there is a whole series of events and el salvador, honduras, guatemala. a lot of governance and violence and families have been separated for a number of years that have folks living here and children looking to come here. look three years ago, the numbers started to creep and started to surge this year with unaccompanied children coming to the united states and there is a challenge and a lot of them came and surrendered themselves at the border.
whether they are able to stay in the united states but it creates a strain on the organization from the apprehension, the processing, the happened willing and transportation, h.h.s., department of justice, has a heavy responsibility and state department from capacity-building. i didn't have a question in there, what is the current state of affairs and what do you see in the next few months. i know you talked about budget issues. there was a supplemental that had significant chunks that are congress took a summer break without acting on and maybe they will do it before the end of the fiscal year. but a lot of programs internally are being asked to reprogram just to meet obligations to meet the urge of the humanitarian crisis. not really a question but do you
have an outlook or perspective. >> lots of discussion and opinions and obviously from the i. c e. perspective there is a criminal smuggling element here as it relates to transnational organized crime. at least from our perspective and law enforcement perspective we see that as a threat to border security putting aside the humanitarian issues. we do not want to see organizations that are putting vulnerable people in harm's way. that will be our focus and we will do everything we can to dismantle those organizations. >> it is another challenge. like the many different facets of what we find ourselves in the border, like the e bowla crisis
crisis y to use every and whole government approach has helped us get our arms around it and make sure that we are following what the law asks us to do and ininstructs us to do and make sure we've got it in an orderly and safe and secure fashion to do it. >> would someone like to ask a question from your seat? sir? >> thank you for being here. i'm a law student from phoenix, arizona. you can understand the topic of the border. and what you are seeing with the
previous speaker talking about the multiple factors and what is going on globally in addition to governor perry bringing the national guard to the texas border, the question is, are resources stretched too thin? and what is being done to help not just the southwestern border, but resources overall? >> you have heard from mr. wagner, that certain capabilities are driven by the resources that congress gives us. you wouldn't ask anybody in law enforcement that they have everything they need or like. what you have to see and i think it's from every federal agency, to use mr. wagner's phrase, needs to be self-critical, is are we targeting the issues that produce pt best law enforcement outcomes and i think there has been many, many discussions
about the southwest border and we have done a lot of scrubbing internally and as we bring all the tools wife to the fight, that dismantling organizations that will smuggle money, people and contraband, they are issue agnostic. crime is done for profit and taking the tools away, resources, assets is the right approach. as i mentioned before, it could be an alien smuggling case and the money will put people out of business. >> matter of focusing on what are the most important threats facing us. there are multiples from the unaccompanied children, narcotics smugglers, alien smugglers, commercial trade violations coming from intellectual property rights
violations and legitimate trade. tremendous volume of legitimate trade that feeds the country. and making sure we aren't focusing on one area to the expense of the other and balancing that risk and tolerating and the tremendous volume of legitimate people that come back and forth and building the programs that allow us to not get caught up in administrative work and making sure there is resources to focus on other activities on new and emerging threats we are faced with. >> i admire the work they do and public servants. they are constrained. here is a benefit of being a former public official. they are both severely
underfunded and shame that the congress left for their summer recess. out of the 3.7 billion, 400 is going to go to c.b.p. and some to i.c.e. and some to h.h.s. and d.o.j. that hasn't been addressed. people say let's add more people to the border that is not going to add value. great release, or adding more people whether it be for more border patrol agents. look at the process and making sure there is the right amount of% and the appropriate people to deal with their 90-day mandate, those things need to be address. and i really empathize with these folks for not getting the
funding they needed. they were addressing a humanitarian crisis hoping they would be reimbursed. other parts of h.h.s. and c.b.p. and i.c.e. will be suffering because they had to reprogram to recover. 's that's just an outsider view and when congress comes back they do the right thing and look going forward with the appropriate level of funding and executive orders, likely not with the germ elections, because those things have an effect on that flow on the borders. >> i'm a former prosecutor. i had a question about whether -- what effect, if any, our policy to deport alien felons
and particularly gang members rom the 1980's and 1990's have created some of the problems in central america that have led to the unaccompanied minors coming up. has anyone looked at how that policy effects future immigration problems? >> i can't prop that has been sort of a direct link as you posed it in your question. what i will tell you, our acting director is in honduras, to sign an agreement with the government of honduras, to share information about folks who are leaving the united states after the immigration process is complete and returning to their country. as i said earlier, the more we can share with our partners to make sure, listen, the result is
what the law requires, but getting information to what i say is the receiving countries is helpful to them as they will have a policing situation similar to what we have here. partnership being the principal is the right answer and that is what we are working on in central america right now. >> good afternoon. i'm an attorney with customs and border protection in d.c. speaking to the lack of resources and what mr. ahe arch rmpnmp mentioned about lack of prrl resources, sometimes there will be a currency seeds you are and sometimes a large amount is there a particular threshold in a district and it doesn't get prosecuted and goes administrative.
is there any thought to amend or change the mitigation guidelines fund rency and that illegal organizations for the lack of us being able to prosecute them? >> we are constrained by what the laws congress gives us and there is some proceeds from crime that we can turn into operations and that obviously, e forfeiture fund is a big part, they all contribute to that fund. e have what we call the cash smuggling center. we know that large transfers represents the largest amount of hile-gotten proceeds going southbound. to echo his answer, one of the things that we struggle to look at all the touch points and
resource them proportionly. i think that work is getting better, but i will tell you that we have great partners at the department of justice and great partners in the forfeitures that can do that but we see cash abandoned. it is a blended approach. i take your point that the proceeds and the money is the real game. >> do you want to add? >> option working with the state and local prosecutions and couldn't get a secure prosecution. they have a lot of the same work load constraints and issues that all of us have and they also focus on what they can see is the best cases for them to take or what the implication of those casesr but i think it boils down to again, the decision-making
that other organizations are going to make and absorb and take on with their own available resources. but we have the state and local opportunities and we have our administrative regulations and requirements and look at mitigating and aggravating circumstances and we have leeway and depending on the culpability and knowledge and whether this was an intentional violation or bulk cash that was being smuggled and was there culpability of the person smuggling it, all those factors will come into play. >> i want to add a perspective and it is a prl discretion that goes out to the federal districts as both john and dan articulated and there can be a lot done. if you can't persuade a
prosecutor to take the case, there are a lot of tools on the administrative side to go ahead and take that money away and you on't have to do -- honor the it. make them go through different proceedings if you believe it is cash from illegal gains. es, sir. >> this gentleman will have the last opportunity to ask the question. >> honored. in the event there is an undocumented individual and he has information of criminal atlanta, would i.c.e. accommodate him and some manner legitimate idse his status here?
>> absolutely. there is a whole hort of tools that we have. and we get many tips and a lot of information from folks that have a variety of immigration status. so absolutely, it happens every day. >> so fair to say if i go on your web site, it will direct me what to do. >> yes. >> thank you very much. >> i know this hour has past quickly for me and quick for the two panelists as well. thank you for your questions and thank you for your work and the work both your agencies are doing. [applause] . [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2014] >> american bar association continues its two-day conference
on homeland security policy tomorrow with a discussion on cybersecurity and thomas mcdermott, assist ant general counsel. p.m. hero at 3:10 c-span. this month, c-span presents debates, evolution and foods, shoes spotlight with veterans health care, i.r.s. oversight, student loan debt and campus sexual assault, global warming, fighting infectious disease and showing sites and sounds from america's historic places. find our schedule at cspan.org. call us at -- cspan.org.t comment@
like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. >> a georgia chim beer of commerce forum. the debate on climate change beginning with global warming conceptics. followed by a senate environmental hearing with former e.p.a. administrators. two candidates participated in a forum hosted by the georgia chamber of commerce. they talked about issues related to transportation rnings national defense and immigration. the two candidates are going for the seat from saxby chambliss. this is 40 minutes. >> welcome to you all.
thank you for being here. i'm john pruitt, retired newscaster for wsb, and they pulled me out of retirement and dusted me off in order to moderate a forum. we're sold out here and this will be televised live by wmaz. perhaps some other outlets. we will be seeing rebroadcasts of the forum on other media outlets around georgia. so it's going to receive wide exposure because this is the first time candidates michelle nunn and david perdue have been on the same stage. we would ask you to refrain from applause or audience reaction with the exception to when the candidates are introduced and at the conclusion of the forum. i want to tell you a few words about the format that was agreed to by both campaigns after some negotiation. each candidate will have an opening statement of five minutes.
following the five-minute opening statement from michelle nunn and david perdue, we'll go into a series of questions that will be posed by me. through prior agreement, those will cover four basic topic areas -- immigration, transportation, defense and health care. the candidates know the top i said. they do not know the questions, which will come from me. if there is a need for rebuttal, that will be at my discretion and i also have the ability to follow up. the candidates will have two minutes to answer each question posed to them. following that there will be closing statements of two minutes apiece. so are we ready for the nstructions? thank you very much. i might need this.
we will be seated at center stage and i'll be in the middle. the candidates will be at my right and left and as i move to the center stage, let me be sure everything is working here with this mike. yes, it is. we'll be passing the mike. so we're set to go. please join me in welcoming the republican and democratic candidates for the u.s. senate seat from georgia, republican david perdue and democrat michelle nunn. [applause]
please be seated. welcome to you both. and we'll begin with a five-minute opening statement. first opening statement comes from david perdue. >> well, good afternoon. it's nice to be here with the chamber. appreciate you guys hosting us today. i feel right at home today for two reasons. one, like you, i've spent the last 40 years working in the global economy, completing, providing products and services to customers. and in so doing, adding value to our economy and creating opportunities for people to provide for themselves and their families. the second reason, i am home. i was born down the street at macon hospital. i grew up in warner robins. my mom and dad were schoolteachers. i grew up working on our family farms. my wife bonnie and i met in first grade and we've been arried 42 years.
we've been blessed with two sons and three grandsons. one of my first paying jobs was in warner robins in a program that taught preschoolers how to read. when you show a child a book for the first time and you teach him to read, that never leaves you and i've carried that with me all my life. like many of you, i worked my way through college and graduated from georgia tech working construction jobs and warehouse jobs but in this race i'm learning how to say "go, dogs." you tech guys, don't worry, i'm still there. i worked here after tech with a firm that worked with many companies and we spent the first half of our career here in georgia. after that my family and i took off, literally, climbing in the career that we had and rising to
senior positions later in companies like reebok, sara lee and later being chairman and c.e.o. of dollar general, where i oversaw the rapid expansion of that firm, adding thousands of jobs and creating thousands of new stores. i'd never been in politics before but i got in this because i felt like we had a full-blown crisis in our country and i felt i could add value. if you look at the debt we have today, $18 trillion almost. but that's not the worst of it. what we're not talking about is another $86 trillion coming at us in unfunded future liabilities. that's $1 million for every household in our country. it's the greatest threat to our national security and our very way of life. and that's not the end of it. even after putting $3.5 trillion into our economy, this economy
is flat right now because of bad government policies. today we have fewer people working as a percentage of our working force than we've had since jimmy carter was president. the majority of small businesses have either stopped hiring or have cut back hiring because of overregulation. you know, you have to look at the situation and try to figure how did we get in this mess? i think to answer that question, first you have to look at the makeup of the united states senate. today we only have about 10 people in the united states senate who have any business experience and even those people have been in elected office longer than they've been in business. and combine that with the gridlock, the self-imposed gridlock that we have up there and you end up with in failed administration creating devastating rules for you and me out here in the working world. but the gridlock up there is not
necessary. on harry reid's desk today are over 300 bills that have been passed in the house. some of these bills had 2/3 majorities. that means they were bipartisan bills but they're stuck in harry reid's office because of one reason. that allows this president to run our government with executive order and regulatory mandate. it's created a failed administration. any way, any measure. foreign policy, immigration, health care. education, the debt. the economy. but it doesn't have to be this way. we need to get back to the founding principles of our founders. conservative principles. economic opportunity. fiscal responsibility. limited government. individual liberties.
if we do that, we win this race, we take back the senate from harry reid and we start getting results again in washington. together, we can turn america back toward a position of strength and prosperity. thank you for having us, i look forward to our conversation. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> our next opening statement now from michelle nunn. >> thank you, john. thank you, david. it's good to be in this conversation with you and thanks to the chamber. you all have a tremendous turnout here and it's a testament to the great work that you're doing in the state and the leadership that you're showing on behalf of the business community. i see a lot of folks in this all of a sudden that i've worked with over the last number of decades. 26 years ago i gathered with a small group of people at manuel's tavern and we had our first public meeting there and we went from a few dozen people
with a dream with mobilized volunteers to a network that included hundreds of thousands of people across the country, and eventually, seven years ago, we merged with president george h.w. bush's points of light organization and together we created an organization that last year mobilized 4 million volunteers. we used to send out a post card with five or six projects on it. deliver meals to home bound or tutor kids and no we now complete over 20,000 projects very single month. so i'm seeing what happens when we apply creativity and entrepreneurship and innovation to getting things done. i know what it means to take an organization from just a couple of thousand dollars to a $30 bunt. i know what it means to try to make payroll with -- to try to
cover your employees with health care. and i also know wait means to make hard choices but with the end in mind of sustaining a lasting and stronger organization than the way you found it. perhaps the most important lesson i learn and carry with me and that i work side by side with volunteers to really find common ground, to collaborate, to problem solve with a focus on getting things done for people and putting aside differences. like you, i've sat through lots of business meetings and church meetings and p.t.a. meetings and people don't always get along and y'all know that. but they keep at it. they don't walk out, they don't shut down, they keep going and they solve real problems and that's what we need more of in washington. i hear that from people all over the state. they tell me we need to invest in our infrastructure, we need to alleviate the regulatory
burdens strangling small businesses. reform our tax code. reduce our long-term debt. we need to work to do that in a bipartisan fashion and we also need to invest in our kids and in education. so we need to provide the certainty to folks like you to be able to invest. we need to break the gridlock in ashington and that's what i've been talking about, about sending someone to washington who's focused on partnership and getting things done together. but that's not what i've heard from david over the course of the year during the campaign. in fact, within minutes of winning the election for the republican nomination, david said this election is about prosecuting the administration and the president. but i don't agree about that. i think this election is about the hopes, aspirations, dreams
of georgians and fighting for georgians. david was asked recently if there was a democratic idea he could work on with the democrats and he failed to be able to answer that. couldn't think of one. if you look at his issues, you have a support for the government shutdown, against common core, something that the chamber has worked hard around. you have a record that says i'm against the farm bill. that's what david said, the bipartisan farm bill, and you also have the refusal to work together around comprehensive immigration reform. so that sounds a lot like washington as usual to me and i know that we can do better in washington and i know that we must. i know that we must work together. you know, david's allies have been running a lot of tv ads. you've probably seen me standing with president obama. what's interesting about that picture is it was taken at
president george h.w. bush's library and if you widen the lens, president george h.w. bush was there. so i have the experience of working together across the aisle, of getting things done, even when there are differences of opinion and i think that's what wee need, people who are going to problem solve and not prosecute and i pledge to be a fierce advocate for georgia's citizens' rights. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> since this is an opening statement, i'm not going to have rebuttal. here will be a closing statements and programs you could work in some responses during the course of the q&a. if a candidate is mentioned by the other candidate, there is a chance to respond but the opening statement is a little sacrosanct, but let's move into questions. the first question is on health care, which, of course, means the affordable care act.
mr. perdue, you favor repealing obamacare. and ms. nunn, you favor it but seem to have some eservations. can you tell us what is it about the affordable care act that seems to prevent you from fully embracing it. what changes would you make if you should go to washington? >> i think we need to fix some of the things that are not working with it. there are challenges with it. including when i'm from southwest georgia people tell me they're paying among the highest rates in the nation. we need to add a more affordable tier. i was one of the first to say we need to clay the employer mandate to make sure we get it right. those are the things that i think we need to fix and i'm illing to work with whoever is
a person of good will to do that. i do not think that we need to go backwards. i do not think that we need to be having the same conversation. david has said that he wants to repeal this. i ask you, do we really want to be having this same argument look a.p.a. in six years? can't we come together and build upon some of the things that are work something i don't think we want to go back to a time when people who had preexisting conditions who were not able to et health insurance. i don't think we want to go backwards and tell parents that they can't cover their children up until age 26 on their health insurance. i had a father who told me i sleep better at night because i'm able to cover my kids. i don't think we want to be locked into the kind of gridlock hat is emblematic of the refusal to say let's work together to focus on what really
matters to georgians and that are they wet getting quality health care at good prices and are we getting more people covered? i think if we keep that in mind we can do good things and actually make a difference in the lives of georgians. >> thank you. she's really posed my question to you. you want to repeal obamacare but how realistic is that given the view by many that's the law of the land and there are some indications that the affordable care act is slowly beginning favor as the benefits for some become known. sit unfixable and what about the time lag? >> absolutely i think it's unfixable. this goes against the grain of our american heritage. i think we proved in the 1980's, that a society has a leg up. we brought down the soviet union with the strength of our economy and the power of our kids.
when this president told us we could keep our insurance, i'm not sure what he meant by that. ike you, millions of insurance had their insurance canceled. my wife and i had our personal insurance canceled. it was perfect for us with a major carrier. we were told that wasn't good enough so we now have a new policy that my federal government says is ok for me. it has a lot of things i don't need and my rates doubled. this government has not -- no government has proven they can manage this big a part of our economy. if you look at how good a job they're doing with the veterans administration, it might give you some indication of what this is going to look like in a few years. in my opinion it needs to be repealed and replaced. we have good alternatives but
the one i personally like the best is congressman price's own h.r.400. it has affordability and doesn't deny access the way this one does. i don't believe the bureaucrats in washington is a better way to go than the free-market solution. >> follow-up to both of you. what about the problem of georgia's rural hospitals that are closing because the federal subsidies that are not coming largely because georgia didn't extend medicaid? >> it's largely not coming because of obamacare. they cut the rates. we need to give more power to the states and have more flexibility to deal with the priorities that they have in these rural and smaller hospitals that have a disproportionate share of medicaid and medicare patients. i think the medicaid patients should come back in the form of block grants. >> i know you've been vocal on this issue as well. what's your solution to these
georgia rural hospitals going out of business? >> i've been talking to folks that run rural hospitals and that are partners to rural hospitals around the statement. they tell me we should have expanded medicaid as a state. that we are not allowing 650,000 people that should have access to have access. we're paying their emergency bills and sending the others elsewhere. we need to work together. we can't afford to be gridlock. we need to fix what's not working and not have a stalemate while folks in rural communities suffer. >> thank you. let's move to transportation. as you know, georgia gets about half of its road building funds from the federal highway trust fund, which is rung on empty. it's depleted. the gas tax is the basis for the fund. it hasn't been raised since 1993 and to compound the problem not
keeping up with inflation, you have americans driving less and ore fuel-efficient cars. but if georgia loses those federal funds it would be a big blow. road projects would come to a halt. you said you will not raise taxes under any circumstances but what's the alternative to keep the federal funds flowing to georgia? >> this is a perfect example of what happens when big government tries to allocate our resources out here. this is a much bigger issue. it's the entire infrastructure. we're spending a fracture of what we need to be spending in our infrastructure just to maintain it. if you look at the port of savannah, it's taken us 17 years to get approval through the e.p.a. and our legal system to deepen that port five feet. in the meantime, china has added
one of their major ports in the last three or four years. we're losing our competitive edge because we're not paying attention to our nfrastructure. regulatory control, educated work force, water, cheap power and infrastructure, that's how you grow an economy. the problem right now in every one of those areas, we have difficulties. the problem right now, in every one of those areas we have difficulties. in this case, we have hope. there is $480 billion of redundant agency expenses in the federal budget. i said that right, 480 billion dollars of redundant agencies. we don't have a problem of enough money. we have a problem of it going to the right purposes. investment and infrastructure, roads, airports, rail, have economic return for our economy. that is where the money needs to be spent. not in redundant agencies. >> notebook for a gas tax hike? >> no, sir. >> same question to you ms. nunn.
would you vote for a rise in the gas tax? >> i do not believe we should be raising taxes either. i also share david's sensibility about the importance of infrastructure. we have to find a way of investing in infrastructure. we have a d-plus grade from civil engineers. china is spending three times what america is spending on civil infrastructure. we have to have the capacity to work together. we talked about certainty in washington. we can't keep kicking the can down the road with three or six-month extensions. we have to have a long-term view. again, what it takes, we will work across the aisle, embrace partnership in getting things done. i think the savanna port and the deepening of the harbor is a perfect example.
it did take, 17 years to get that done. and i think the example, the real illustration of why we need to change that, is we have too many people who are not willing to work together to get the kinds of things done that we all know are practical and need to happen. unlike david, i don't believe you can prosecute your way through. you have to be able to work with the president, together, across the aisle in congress, to get it done. that is what we need more of in washington. i do think that is essential to create conditions for economic growth. >> i have to follow up for both of you. the highway trust fund is empty. it has to be funded. in fact, there is a bipartisan move in the senate to do that. so this talk is wonderful, but the road building projects are online, the bulldozers are ready to go. they need money. what do you do short-term to keep money flowing? >> there are purposeful choices we need to make about how we invest. we know investment in
infrastructure and education creates returns and enables growth. it is actually the way that we do enable more funds to have the capacity for the things we need to get done. so i think we do have duplication in government. we do have to make choices. and i would make the choice to invest in our infrastructure as a part of a strategic outline working together with others in congress. >> briefly, what do you do? >> we have that in so many areas in our country today. we have ways and means right now in the congress between the house and senate to take care of that. but they have to reallocate, reprioritize how the money is spent. that is what we send them to do. just adding a new gas tax is the easy way out. that would be an easy answer.
but we have an $18 trillion debt, and another $86 trillion in things we're not even talking about yet. we will add another tax on small businesses and individuals -- there is a better way to do this if the people in congress would get together and just get it done. >> next hop that area is immigration. as you know, the immigration reform act passed the senate in bipartisan fashion and never came to a vote in the house because of conservative republican opposition. you indicated that you favor that bipartisan bill in the senate. but president obama in the next few weeks is going, we are told, to make an executive action announcement. we don't know what he's going to say, but there is considerable speculation he may attempt to find ways to make it easier for the 11 million, maybe not all of 11 million, but some illegal immigrants in the country to gain legal status. my question to you, michelle nunn, do you think the president, in absence of
congressional action, should take action? what would you like him to say? >> let me start by saying that i do support the bipartisan comprehensive legislation that was really worked very hard toward by folks like the chamber and unions and farm bureau. people as diverse as chuck schumer and marco rubio. when all those people agree, it is something you need to take another look at. this is probably one of the sharper contrasts you will find between david and myself. david embraces what i believe is the attitude of gridlock in washington, that has not enabled us to get this done. we talk about what is happening
on the border. the immigration bill passed in the senate would enable us to invest in 20,000 security agents on the border, and a surveillance system that would make a real difference. so when you look at what david is talking about, not only does he oppose this, he ran ads distorting the position of the chamber, the compromise position many folks in this room worked towards creating. and i don't think that is what we need. david sat in the room with folks at the chamber and said, after 10 minutes, he walked out in anger. he said that. this is the kind of issue we need to be able to stay at the table to work out, to make a difference around, and really address our economy, jobs, and the deficit. all the economists i have talked to have said this is the right thing to do for our country, and we need to move forward with that. but i do believe we need to have congress and the president work together. we need to get out of the executive order system and into
the compromising and collaboration and partnership system in washington. >> do i read that, you would prefer president obama not to call an executive action? >> i believe we should have congress making the compromises and partnerships with the executive branch that will enable us to do this legislation. >> thank you very much. you said you cannot really talk about copperheads of immigration reform until we secure the border. but surely you have thought about and have some ideas about what to do about the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, many of whom are important to the state's economy, in particular the agriculture industry. what do you do about these folks? do you deport them? what is your solution? also, i would like your comments on the expected executive action by the president. >> i think the fact that implied amnesty is on the table is one reason why we have the debacle on the border today. i disagree with that. i think the first thing that we have to do is break this conflict into its components.
it is what you do everyday in business. the first component we have to solve, we have to follow the law of the land, enforce the laws we have in the books to protect and secure our borders. i personally think it is more than an immigration issue. it is a national security issue. today, the immigration issue is broader than illegal immigrants. 40% of people here illegally came in on a legal visa and just overstayed their visa. this federal government is not even enforcing the visa laws that we have. in addition, if you look at illegal immigration problem, it may be big or bigger than the illegal problem. we are bringing in twice as many legal immigrants today as during the two highest period of our history. this has not been a bipartisan thing. this is this president with executive orders doing this. i really believe we have to take
a conference of look at this, because there are needs. having grown up and worked on farms, i understand the needs of farmers to get access to legal labor. right now, the program is built by bureaucrats, for bureaucrats, and it is very cumbersome for these farmers. i believe it needs to be streamlined so they can have access to legal labor. >> next general area of inquiry is defense. military bases in georgia are very important to the state's economy. we know we lost fort mcpherson and the naval supply school in athens in the last base realignment and closure commission in 2005. there is word there may be another coming up in the next couple years, which raises the question, could dobbins air reserve base be on the line? my question to each of you, and i will start with you, david perdue.
as a freshman senator, what can you do to protect georgia's military bases and be sure the cuts in defense, which are coming, don't endanger national security? >> well, i grew up just down the road. if you listen quietly you might hear a few planes going off. as i was growing up, during the cuban missile crisis i was riding a bicycle to football practice and listening and watching. a tanker or a b-52 took off to do the route around cuba. as a young kid i thought, how important it is to have that type of security. that was a time when they had the nuclear bomb threat training in our school. where you get under your desk. but in all seriousness, i believe the greatest threat to our national security and
defense is this debt and the fact we are not taking it seriously. we have confused our allies and encouraged our enemies because of this confused foreign policy we have. to have a strong foreign policy, you have to have a strong defense, but to have a strong defense, as we proved with the soviet union, you have to have a strong economy, and you cannot be borrowing at the level we are now and do that. believe when the next round comes, i will be fighting to grow the economy to make sure we have a strong defense. worked with these private organizations like 21st century and the chambers of commerce to make sure we communicate the strategic intent of these bases and the strategic importance of location. these bases are not here by mistake, and i intend to keep them here. thank you. >> michelle nunn, as you know,
georgia has long been somewhat protected from military cutbacks. walter george, richard russell, even your dad sam nunn, your great uncle, they were part of the establishment that kept bases secure. but those days are gone. same question to you. how do you, as a freshman senator, protect military bases in georgia, which are of great importance to local communities economically, and be sure that defense cuts do not endanger the national security at a time of such peril? >> i have been able to travel around and meet with the base community, folks doing such a good job. the 21st century partnership. we have such a proud heritage of support for our military in georgia, with nine bases, 140,000 men and women serving
under d.o.d., $20 billion of economic impact. second-highest enlistment rate of any state in the country in our military. i would say i disagree with those in washington and the president who believe this is the time to cut our military. i don't believe that. i believe the world is a dangerous place right now. we have asked our men and women to sacrifice enormously over the last decade-plus, and we need to continue to have the strongest and best military in the world. we have a wonderful heritage of bipartisan leadership in georgia. i've heard my dad say on a number of occasions, there was never a closure during his 24 years in the senate. that is not a coincidence. we need someone who is able to commit to being a steward on the
armed services committee. i have committed to do that. we need someone who will work to preserve and protect bases, but also expand the mission. i was at king's bay. they have 20% additional capacity. we need to bring capacity to continue to contribute to the military in georgia. i think gridlock is the enemy of our capacity here, and, if you look at the sequestration, i was talking to a captain in the marines, and he said it has done more to hurt our preparation than anything else in the last few decades. the government shut down for about 4000 people just down the road. we need to work together to preserve and protect military bases and our military capacity. >> any rebuttal on suf the shutdown? >> not at all. that speaks for itself. the situation we had in washington was over obamacare. what i was saying, we cannot default on our interest payment. we need to talk about that.
>> we have covered the four basic topic areas the candidates agreed to. i wish we could keep going, but under the rules we have the forum is approaching conclusion. time for closing statements. by prior agreement, the order was determined, and michelle nunn has the first closing statement. >> first of all, thank you, david, thank you. i look forward to more spirited conversations. thanks again to the chamber for hosting a terrific gathering. i was here last year with you all, just getting my campaign started. you are honoring saxby chambliss for a number of achievements. one of those achievements was his work with senator warner on the long-term debt. i think that kind of bipartisanship, that statesmanship, that
collaboration, is what we need more of in washington. it has been the theme of my campaign. as i travel around the state, it has been responsible for the energy and excitement we see. we had 200 people in the hot sun waiting for us when we got here, just to say we are ready for real change, for the kind of civility you want to bring to washington. and it is responsible for the 50,000 folks who have given time or resources to the campaign, and at the heart of taking on issues we can deal with with a practical and pragmatic sensibility. protecting and preserving our national defense. comprehensive immigration reform. making sure we are investing in the right things, smart things like infrastructure and our kids, education. david and i have different real world experiences. i have experiences about lifting people up to the last 26 yrs